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When Mitchell Johnson almost punched Kevin Pietersen

Shyam Sunder
3.55K   //    25 Oct 2016, 17:42 IST
Mitchell Johnson, Kevin Pietersen
Johnson and KP did not have the best of relations on the field

Former Australian quickie Mitchell Johnson is the latest cricketer to join the elite club of cricketers across the globe who have released their autobiographies. Johnson's book - Resilient, was released on Monday and as expected, it has made some appalling revelations. Johnson brought to light one of the incidents where he almost punched England superstar Kevin Pietersen.  

Johnson recalled that during the Ashes series in 2009, he and Pietersen were just inches away from getting involved in an ugly brawl. He had arrived in England as one of the world's best bowlers but poor performances and a highly public family issue had him feeling the pressure.

Also read: Felt sick after a bouncer hit Virat Kohli's helmet during 2014 Adelaide Test, says Mitchell Johnson

He stated that Pietersen was a guy who liked to stir things up and knew how to get under people's skin. He recalled the day when the Australian bowlers were preparing for a Test match alongside the England team.

Pietersen instigated matters

While the Australian bowlers were having a drill, Pietersen was swinging his bat in the middle. Johnson wrote, "We were bowling in the morning and he played a few pull shots in our direction. It wasn’t exactly harmless because we could easily have stood on a ball in our run-ups. I threw a ball back to where he was and I suggested he stop it. Of course, he didn’t. When he hit another one towards me I kicked it as far as I could in the other direction."

Johnson stated in his book that his actions were enough to provoke Pietersen as words were exchanged between the two. The Englishman apparently got really personal while abusing the left-armer.

Johnson fumed over his comments and moved towards Pietersen in a fury.

The 34-year-old wrote, "He got really personal and I’m not going to dignify his comments by repeating them. The red mist descended and I stormed in his direction with every intention in the world of hitting him. This was all being played out in full view of spectators who had arrived early and the media."

Also read: Kevin Pietersen re-signs for South African T20 side Dolphins

Stuart Clarke intervenes

Johnson recalled that Stuart Clark was next to him during the infamous incident and came rushing towards them in order to prevent a brawl. "Stu Clark saw it all happen and came rushing over just as we came together and jumped between us. KP is a big guy, but I was very worked up. Fortunately, Stu is bigger than both of us because it took a bit to convince me not to go through with what I planned. I am so glad Stu was there," he wrote.

"There are limits to what you can say. I am sure everyone knows the line. You can’t bring family or stuff like that in it and I’m sure he knew had gone too far, but he did it on purpose because he wanted to get me going."

Johnson also stated that although they got along well after the incident, Pietersen wasn't the type of guy he would ever ring up or send a congratulatory text to.

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